33 thoughts on “June 2, 2016

  1. I think Brice is liberally lubricating that slippery slope with every phrase Zucchini-Head trots out that he now sees is false.

  2. This remind anybody else of Flanders talking to “God” about the contradictions in the Bible after they lost the house to a storm and the Leftorium was looted?

    • This comment just made me think of one of my favorite Simpsons exchanges ever:

      Flanders: Reverend Lovejoy, with all that’s happened to us today, I kinda feel like Job.

      Reverend Lovejoy: Well, aren’t you being a tad melodramatic, Ned? Also, I believe Job was right-handed.

  3. I feel like this may be how Marla started: a bit idealistic and thinking/going to change the rules she thought weren’t right or fair. And then she dealt with attitudes like this, and that optimism gave way to cynicism.

    • It makes me wonder what Stuart was like as a young manger, was he always like this or did he try being more reasonable at one point? perhaps he tried and it massively backfired on him so he decided that no matter how stupid the rule it is best to just comply.

      • I think Stuart has no manager skills/judgement (or at least he doesn’t trust it.) And so he embraces the policy manual – because he never has to think and he’s never wrong. And so he keeps his head down, always follows the rules and never pesters upper management with questions. Upper management sees him as “good” and promotes him.

        As for changing the rules – that means he’d have to learn a new rule – it makes work harder for him. Gee, work harder or make life fair. Decisions, decisions.

  4. Of COURSE the rules can be changed, Stuart, they change them for scum-sucking parasite– hem, VALUED CUSTOMERS all the time.

    • Ah, but EMPLOYEES aren’t supposed to change them…or even question them. Customers are special, as is Corporate Management.

      • that is what customers who complain to cashiers and such need to understand, you are telling the person with the least control what is wrong. if they want it fixed make a stink to the 1-800 number on the receipt where you stand at least some chance of the higher ups hearing the issue

        • Completely agree, although note the effective calls only cause exceptions. The rules stay the same, because corporate doesn’t suffer from keeping those the same. In all fairness to DMs, it’s generally their managers that force rules upon them, and they have no power to disregard regional managers, who ditto to even higher ups etc.. The strip humanizes things by making Stuart’s boss the arbiter, but the reality is that many policies are based on recommendations from those employed by the shareholders/CEO, with their own standards to meet.

          It would actually be fun to see an empathetic person be the new DM, and try to change things from their level and embrace reality with Marla. After six months, Zucchini Head could be reinstated, since he lost the company less money. Might be a good stepping stone to Marla starting her own company.

        • That’s what I tell my customers when they complain. I can tell corporate until I’m blue in the face and nothing will be done, because corporate thinks employee suggestions are only what the employee wants to do and has nothing to do with customer service, but to hear the same thing from a customer will yield completely opposite results.

          • I’ve said this many times, both here and at work to customers: “Corporate will listen to you, not to me.”

  5. That’s right, rules are rules and they can never be changed or ignored, unless of course they’re inconvenient, like asking someone to work for free or violate a safety law by asking a working to get inside the garbage chute.

    • management never asks someone to do something unsafe or illegal, they just imply that you will be in trouble for not taking said action. that way they are legally in the clear if they need to fire you for taking said action.

    • Brice always had a brain. It’s just that he had a naive view about how things work, and worked at a high-volume store where those views were confirmed.

      The thing that people are missing is that the corporate rules aren’t nonsensical in of themselves; it’s just that they were based on the nonsensical notion that all stores are operating at a top level, and no flexibility or consideration is given to those stores that operate at a more average level because of region, market, etc. Which means that the rules are made for only a handful of stores rather than company-wide.

      And now Brice is experiencing the reality.

  6. “A system where ALL rules can be challenged” is a GOOD system, Stuart.
    It doesn’t mean each individual rule will necessarily be challenged, or that any challenged rule ends up removed or changed.
    But a rule that can’t survive being challenged is not a good rule to have in the first place. You shouldn’t defend it by denying the right of questioning it.

  7. When Stuart was an assistant store manager, I wonder if Jerry was his manager? Jerry was even worse than Stuart so I wonder if he beat all the humanity out of him? Marla bucked the trend and is attempting to impart her wisdom on Brice. Perhaps Brice can truly change after being exposed to Marla long enough.

    • His boss was Jasper Morley, and Stuart ascended to manager when Jasper choked to death in the mall food court (I’m not joking – this got mentioned last week in the comments). Jerry was the DM at that time, I believe, and him and Stuart saw eye-to-eye. Stuart and Brice, however, clearly do not – Brice realizes that generating product out of thin air is impossible. Stuart doesn’t. Stuart’s idealism will be his undoing.

  8. Stuart, Brice, Jerry, corporate…they are all described perfectly by that “Bull Durham” quote: “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness.” I know a sales manager who is just like that.

    • Come to the dark side! We have cookies!

      Unless they’ve been discontinued, sent to another store, or just not included in the shipment because reasons.

      • I just checked and great news: we have plenty of cookies! Milk on the other hand… I think the warehouse must be out 🙁

      • Don’t forget, that’s $1.50 per cookie… and you must pay up front. (I love the irony of using one of Brice’s tricks back on him.)

        Either that, or I should smack you for the notion that we’re the dark side.

  9. And with that comment, Stuart lays his finger on the heart of the problem. Even the pettiest, most obnoxious rule exists for a reason. Even if it’s not a good reason, or not worth it, it’s usually enough to justify it in the minds of the rulemakers. The problem is, all the little nibbles add up.

  10. The best way to handle customers who don’t like the way things are done is to assure them that you will pass their complaint or request or whatever on to whomever, write it down, and then toss it when they leave. You can’t fix it. Higher ups can’t fix it. Nothing will change. And chances are the customer won’t remember or care.

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